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Sales Reinvented

We at Sales Reinvented are on a mission to change the negative perception of sales people. Each week we will be interviewing experts in the field of sales and sharing their knowledge, ideas and expertise with our listeners. They share with us in our vision of a world where selling is a profession to be proud of. The aim of our formatted show is to provide ‘snackable’ episodes that are short enough to listen to in one sitting but long enough to provide real value that will help you in your sales career. Welcome to the Sales Reinvented Podcast.
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Now displaying: July, 2020

At Sales Reinvented, we are on a mission to change the negative perception of selling. Welcome to the Sales Reinvented Podcast.

Jul 29, 2020

Emotional control in the negotiation process is difficult to master. It’s partly because as a species we are ruled by emotion. It’s difficult to take a step back and let go of the different influences on the negotiation and focus on the facts. In this episode of Sales Reinvented, Jeb Blount shares his take on emotional control in negotiation and why it’s so important to the process.

Jeb Blount is the CEO of Sales Gravy and a Sales Acceleration Specialist. He’s a best-selling author and most recently penned: INKED: The Ultimate Guide to Powerful Closing and Sales Negotiation Tactics that Unlock YES and Seal the Deal. Jeb is a world-renowned keynote speaker and the host of the Sales Gravy Podcast. This episode is packed with information you can use to become a better negotiator—don’t miss it!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:01] Jeb’s definition of negotiation
  • [2:04] Negotiation is the precursor to profit
  • [3:10] Salespeople find negotiation uncomfortable
  • [5:20] The rules Jeb follows in the negotiation process
  • [10:01] Emotional control and other important attributes
  • [13:16] The MLP Strategy (motivation, leverage, and power)
  • [17:18] Important negotiation dos and don’ts
  • [20:34] Jeb’s eye-opening negotiation story

Negotiation isn’t an inherent part of western culture

Negotiation is essentially emotionally controlled conflict. Jeb points out that because it’s inherently conflict, it’s difficult for people in western economies to engage in. Negotiation isn’t an everyday facet of our lives like it is in some Eastern cultures, such as India. If you’re in the UK, US, or Canada you don’t negotiate—you pay the price

Because negotiating isn’t a part of our everyday existence, we aren’t good at it nor do we like it. There’s a lot of stigma surrounding negotiating. In some instances, if you attempt to haggle or negotiate a price it’s met with contempt and an upturned nose—leaving you embarrassed. When it isn’t a cultural norm, it can feel uncomfortable. It can feel like rejection. It feels like a zero-sum game with distinct winners and losers. 

Unfortunately, most salespeople aren’t properly trained how to negotiate. If they are, they’re trained by someone who typically doesn’t have sales experience. On the flip side, most procurement people are professionally trained negotiators who know what they’re doing and take advantage of that fact. 

Three rules for the negotiation process

Jeb embraces a few rules as part of his negotiation process: 

Rule #1: Don’t negotiate until you’ve already won the deal. Until you’re selected as the vendor of choice, don’t attempt to negotiate—or you’re just negotiating with yourself.

Rule #2: Leverage the negotiation triangle. Make sure you develop a great relationship with someone in the stakeholder group. Once they select you, you’re typically shoved off to procurement who want to lower your prices. It’s nice to have a stakeholder to reach out to if it seems you’re at an impasse.

Rule #3: Incorporate a give-take playlist. Jeb points out that you should never give without taking something in return. He emphasizes that “I want to be able to give things to the buyer that are low-value to me but high-value to the buyer while I take things away from the buyer that are high-value to them.” The more you take, the more painful the negotiation process becomes—thereby compelling them to stop negotiating and align on a deal.

A salesperson must master emotional control

Jeb believes that emotional control is paramount to your success:

“Don't negotiate when you're hungry. Don't negotiate when you're tired. Don't negotiate when you're worn out. Because when you're in those positions, you're more likely to give things away that you don't have to...When you're worn out, there's a limit to your willpower, your emotional control, and discipline.”

He notes that if you’re not in a position where you can exercise full emotional control, do everything possible to reschedule the negotiation so you don’t get into a situation where you're giving away the upper hand to the buyer.

Jeb goes on to share a negotiation strategy that he teaches in his book: The MLP strategy (Motivation, Leverage, and Power). He also shares some powerful negotiation dos and don’ts. To learn more about how he leverages these in a negotiation, keep listening!

A story about the power of emotional control and relationships

Jeb’s company had spent six months going through a discovery phase with a prospect they had worked with in the past. But the deal they were working on was the largest yet. They had reached the final proposal and were selected as the vendor of choice. So the stakeholder group sent them off to procurement to nail down contracts.

Their counterparties procurement team sent them a letter stating that they had found other businesses that can do what Jeb’s company was offering—but at a better price. Jeb’s saleswoman read that letter and lost all emotional control, worried they were going to lose the deal. She was poised and ready to concede and lower their pricing to save the deal. But Jeb knew it was a negotiation tactic and responded accordingly. He let them know that they’d be happy to lower the price to fit the budget, but that something would have to be removed from the deal to do so. 

They came back to the table and quibbled over details for three solid months. The executive team was being pressured by the upper-management to wrap things up because they were now way behind schedule. Jeb received a call from the executive sponsor trying to figure out what the hold-up was. Jeb filled him in and told him that procurement had stalled the process. 

So the executive sponsor made a call to the Senior Vice President. The VP then called procurement. 24 hours later, they received their original contract, signed and ready to move forward. Jeb’s emotional control and relationship-building strategy won them the deal

This episode is PACKED with useful resources from a top sales negotiator. Listen to the whole episode to take advantage of his vast knowledge and expertise. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Jeb Blount

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

Audio Production and Show notes by
PODCAST FAST TRACK
https://www.podcastfasttrack.com

Jul 22, 2020

Do you know what it takes to be a successful negotiator? Do you possess some of the necessary skills and attributes? Do you need to brush up on your negotiation skills? In this episode of Sales Reinvented, Mladen Kresic hones in on why salespeople struggle with negotiation. He also shares some of his favorite negotiation tactics and gives some pointers for dealing with the negotiation process. Mladen is full of spectacular insight into the negotiation process. Don’t miss it!

Mladen Kresic is the CEO of K&R Negotiations—aka Negotiators.com. For 30+ years Mladen has successfully negotiated billions in deals all over the world on behalf of the most well-known international companies. His expertise is working with C-level executives in business transactions. He is the author of Negotiate Wisely in Business and Technology, a guide for sales negotiations and an Amazon e-book best-seller. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:59] Negotiation: an interaction to achieve a result
  • [1:12] Why is negotiation important in business?
  • [1:50] Why salespeople don’t like to negotiate
  • [3:22] Mladen’s value-based negotiation process
  • [5:00] Attributes of a successful negotiator
  • [6:51] Negotiation tools, tactics, and strategies
  • [10:03] Top 3 negotiation dos and top 3 don’ts
  • [13:25] Mladen’s favorite negotiation story

Why do salespeople struggle with negotiation?

Mladen notes that negotiation is viewed as an adversarial process. Most sales professionals want to be liked by their customers. They want to please them. To some, entering into a negotiation feels like they’re putting that relationship on shaky ground. But Mladen believes that if they must view a negotiation as a process to achieve a result versus giving it a negative connotation. Doing that will change the process for the better and help you become a successful negotiator. 

Secondly, Mladen sees a lot of salespeople who don’t know when to walk away. They can be so desperate for a sale to meet their quota that they overlook things they shouldn’t. They’re so focused on being liked and reaching a deal that they get frustrated when the deal is dead. They have to learn to walk away when and if necessary. 

How Mladen prepares for a high-stakes negotiation

Mladen focuses his negotiations around what he calls the leverage cycle. It’s value-based leverage that is about delivering an outcome to the buyers. It creates confidence in the seller that they can deliver what the buyer seeks to improve. 

Mladen also focuses on agenda management. Most people think about an agenda in terms of how to conduct a meeting, interaction, or phone call. Instead, Mladen focuses on a macro-agenda, or what the entire process looks like—the resources and activities that need to happen in that timeline. 

Mladen believes it is THE most critical aspect of the process that we should focus on in order to thrive as a successful negotiator.

The attributes of a successful negotiator

Everyone has natural traits that will not necessarily change so you must play to your strengths. Mladen emphases that negotiation is an art AND a science and there are some things that can be learned, but that these traits are paramount to your success:

  • Genuine Curiosity: Genuine curiosity is absolutely critical. What makes the other side tick? What do they value? What do they need out of this relationship?
  • Confidence without arrogance: A prospect wants to feel that you’re confident in your product/service but are humble in your approach.
  • Competence: You need to know your product or service well and be knowledgeable about the counterparty as well. 
  • Integrity: Salespeople have a poor reputation because they’re perceived as lacking integrity, which is why this attribute is so important. 
  • Compassion: You have to have a level of compassion for the people you’re negotiating with and be able to put yourself in their shoes.

Mladen believes that if a salesperson possesses these attributes they’ll be one step closer to being a successful negotiator. Mladen goes on to share his Risk/Reward tactic, how to break down levels of importance, and other strategies and tactics that are important to the negotiation process—so keep listening! 

Mladen’s negotiation dos and don’ts

Mladen shared some pertinent dos and don’ts in this episode:

  1. Listen more and talk less. Mladen admits he’s a type-A personality that loves to talk (as are many salespeople). But to be a successful negotiator, you must purposefully slow your pace and be sure to listen intently and talk less. He points out that you’ll always have the opportunity to say what you need to say at some point. But first and foremost, you want your counterpart to feel heard and understood. 
  2. Prepare and plan—don’t wing it. This is where agenda management comes into play. Even if you’re strapped for time, you make time to prepare. It is unprofessional to come into a negotiation completely unprepared. 
  3. Don’t make arbitrary concessions. Don’t respond to a request just because they asked. It’s detrimental to one’s credibility and prolongs the process. Instead, Mladen shares that you need to engage in principle concessions: concessions made with credible business rationale. Is the scope too large? Is there a lack of value in the deal? Is there a competitive alternative that is better placed and lower priced?

If you begin to employ some of these strategies in your negotiations, you’ll likely yield more favorable results. Mladen shares his favorite negotiation story and how it changed his negotiation style in the remainder of the podcast—so be sure to listen to the end!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Mladen Kresic

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

Audio Production and Show notes by
PODCAST FAST TRACK
https://www.podcastfasttrack.com

Jul 15, 2020

Are you aware of how your mental mindset impacts the entire negotiation process? Do you walk into a negotiation feeling timid or unsure? Or are you confident and prepared for the negotiation process? Mary Grothe understands how mindset influences the negotiation process and has developed a strategy that she’s found success with. Listen to this episode of Sales Reinvented to hear her take. 

Mary Grothe is the CEO of Sales BQ®, an outsourced RevOps firm of fractional VPs of Sales, Sales Ops, and CMOs who serve companies across the nation by profitably rebuilding their sales & marketing departments and growing their revenue by focusing on the Behavioral Quotient (BQ) and proven inbound + outbound strategies. Don’t miss Mary’s unique insight into the negotiation process!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:04] Mary’s definition of negotiation
  • [1:24] Why negotiation is so important
  • [2:15] Why don’t salespeople like to negotiate?
  • [3:27] A negotiation begins with your mental mindset
  • [11:38] Negotiations tools, tactics, strategies
  • [13:46] The 4 levers Mary recommends using
  • [15:52] Mary’s favorite negotiation story

The negotiation process starts with adjusting your mental mindset

Mary points out that most executives know how to negotiate. If you go into a negotiation knowing that the person on the other end of the table is educated in negotiation tactics, you can go in with a different mindset. You’ll know that they’ll take one look at your proposal and will never agree to the first terms set forth. If you have the expectation they WILL negotiate, it changes how you approach the entire process. 

A lot of salespeople crumble, give in on pricing, and don’t get great margins on their deals. So how does she prepare for the negotiation process? Understand that it’s about getting a win-win for both sides. Then you must calculate your walk-away point: your starting point, your middle point that you present as the walk-away point, and then your full walk-away point. Knowing what each of these numbers are helps prepare you and boosts your confidence.

Remove emotion from the negotiation process

Mary emphasizes that you must remove emotion from the negotiation process—it sets you up for failure. Salespeople are known for “desperation justification”. They have a quota they have to meet by the end of the month or end of a quarter. Most negotiators know this. What if this deal is HUGE and you’re behind on your quota? What if you don’t know your pricing? Do you come across as lacking confidence or knowledge about your product and service?

Trained negotiators—and your prospect—can pick up on your emotion and lack of confidence. Unfortunately, it gives them the leverage they need to negotiate a better deal for themselves. Knowing that you need a deal gives them the upper-hand. But if you remove emotion and any ulterior motives from the process you can level the playing field. Keep listening to hear Mary’s full thoughts on the topic.

The importance of PCE: passion, conviction, and enthusiasm

Mary strongly believes that a great negotiator must embrace ‘PCE’:

  • Passion: You must be passionate about your product or service and completely bought-in to solving the prospect’s problem. It helps the prospect become comfortable with moving forward with you.
  • Conviction: You must have conviction about how your product/service will help your prospect. Show that you can quantify your problem and present case studies, testimonials, etc. that prove you can solve their problem. 
  • Enthusiasm: If you exude enthusiasm and get the buyer bought in and enthusiastic about the sale, you’re shrinking the negotiation game. They’re excited about getting the deal done and less focused on negotiating price and contract terms. 

Mary also notes that salespeople must be assertive and confident. When a salesperson believes they can solve their client’s problem it leads to confidence. There isn’t desperation justification in play—they truly believe in their product. 

The four levers to implement in your negotiation 

Mary shares four ways that you can leverage concessions to make them work for your company, while also giving your prospect what they’re asking for:

  1. Are they asking for a discount? Agree to the discount, but ask what item they’re comfortable removing from the proposal.
  2. Do they want to decrease the price per item? Offer a decrease in price if they purchase over a certain threshold. 
  3. Offer them a monetary concession if they can execute the deal in the next 24 hours. This is a common end of month/quarter strategy that negotiators are accustomed to working with.
  4. Agree to some sort of concession if the buyer agrees to give a testimonial, be a reference, or introduce and/or refer people to your product and/or service.

Utilizing some of these negotiation tactics will help each side find a win-win from concessions and come closer to a deal. 

Mary shares a negotiation story that led her to develop her successful negotiation process—listen to the whole episode to hear how it changed her negotiation game!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Mary Grothe

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

Audio Production and Show notes by
PODCAST FAST TRACK
https://www.podcastfasttrack.com

Jul 8, 2020

The negotiation process isn’t always easy for a salesperson to navigate. But mastering the process is paramount to your success. The bottom line: if you can’t negotiate well you won’t fare well in anything you do in life. In this episode of Sales Reinvented, Chad Burmeister joins me to talk about some of the parts of the negotiation process that salespeople shy away from—and how to change it. 

Chad Burmeister is the Founder and CEO of ScaleX.ai, which promises to deliver an “unfair competitive advantage” by helping your salespeople increase lead frequency and sales competency. He is the author of multiple books, including AI for Sales and Sales Hack. Don’t miss his stellar insight on the negotiation process. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:29] Our lives are built on negotiation 
  • [1:59] Salespeople aren't comfortable discussing money
  • [4:45] How to master the negotiation process
  • [6:29] Salespeople need to understand the customers’ problem
  • [7:58] Chad’s favorite negotiation closing technique
  • [8:55] Chad’s FUN acronym
  • [11:15] How one negotiation changed Chad’s life

The importance of negotiation

Chris Voss was the first to make the phrase “everything is a negotiation” popular—and for good reason. Chad points out that nearly everything we do involves negotiation. When you make a purchase, engage in a conversation, or play with your kids, some sort of negotiation is involved. Chad points out that it’s well worth any monetary investment to go from a ‘C’ level negotiator to an ‘A+’. Perhaps that change in status means more bookings, more revenue—maybe even fame and fortune. Whatever it is you’re trying to achieve in life can be benefitted from mastering negotiation. 

Understand that the negotiation process means you’ll talk about Money

The Objective Management Group has studied close to two million salespeople and found that only 54% are comfortable discussing money. A salesperson NEEDS to be able to comfortably discuss money in the negotiation process—yet most can’t stomach it. Chad sees that as one of the biggest roadblocks to a successful negotiation. 

Chad notes that the discomfort associated with discussing money is often associated with the way you were raised. Did your family have money? Were they savers or spenders? Did they avoid discussing money at all? If you can understand your money mindset and buying pattern, you can learn how to master this part of the negotiation process. 

Instead of letting a prospect walk away to “look at other vendors” you have to be comfortable pointing out what you discussed. “I thought we’ve discussed your priorities and requirements? You’ll save a million and increase sales by 5.4 million. Why do you need to look at the other vendors?” Chad shares another story about haggling in Mexico that drives the point home—so keep listening. 

Roleplay the negotiation process

When Chad completed his MBA, he took a class on power, politics, and negotiation. They spent a lot of time role-playing negotiations. Roleplaying in class with other students was the catalyst he needed to learn the negotiation process inside and out. 

Aside from consistent practice, Chad recommends taking a class or reading a book—you can even play poker. Learning the art of poker is a great way to learn how to see people’s tells, when they’re exaggerating, etc. 

Chad also believes you need to master closing techniques. Instead of “let’s schedule our next step meeting” at the end of a meeting, ask “If I could... would you…?” You’re essentially giving them an option to voice any objections they have to closing the deal in that meeting. 

To hear more of Chad’s advice—including his thoughts on gap selling—keep listening!

How Chad’s negotiation process changed his life

Chad’s second job out of college was with Airborne Express. He had set up a meeting with Uhaul about some packages they had been shipping with USPS They were shipping packages of license plates for $4.50. The Uhaul would meet the USPS truck in whichever state the plates were to be delivered. They send 12,000 of these a month. 10% of the time, the USPS truck didn’t make it in time and the license plates got shipped back. So Chad took the time to dig and find out the impact of the 10% of trucks that were missed.

Other than being fined, every once and a while a cop would sometimes pull over Uhaul trucks with expired plates and make them empty the contents from one truck into another. So with the fines, he calculated Uhaul was spending $5.87 to ship the new license plates. Airborne typically charged $6 to ship, but he offered to do it at $5 and demonstrated the total cost of ownership that would save Uhaul money. 

Chad won the account—1,000 shipments a month. Then he won the Canadian account, which was 2,000 shipments a month. He went on to become the #1 salesperson at Airborne. Eventually, he got recruited away to a job in southern California where he met his wife and started his family—all because of the outcome of ONE negotiation. 

Listen to the whole episode of Sales Reinvented for Chad’s insight on the negotiation process. If you’re looking to improve your skills—this is the place to start!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Chad Burmeister

Connect With Paul Watts 

Subscribe to SALES REINVENTED

Audio Production and Show notes by
PODCAST FAST TRACK
https://www.podcastfasttrack.com

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